Bernard de Montfaucon (1655-1741) was a French Benedictine monk and scholar who is best known for his work in Greek paleography. His scientific approach to the study of the ancients is no more apparent than in L'Antiquite Expliquee. Montfaucon's motivation in writing his work was a systematic exposition of aspects of antiquity, specifically '...only what may be the object of sight, and may be represented by figures.' He spent 26 years, four of which were spent in Italy, collecting material for this work. For a more complete biographical note see the entry in the online Catholic Encyclopedia.

Source of images for engravings in L'Antiquite Expliquee...

To the modern antiquarian collector these engravings provide a record of provenance of both famous and minor antiquities. Associated with most images on the engravings is an attribution; usually the name of an individual or institution. In the preface of Montfaucon's work he acknowledges the contribution of several antiqurians who gave him access to their coin and antiquity collections. Some individuals actually gave antiquities to Montfaucon. Most allowed him to peruse their collections and often commissioned drawings for inclusion in the work or allowed impressions to be made.
  Montfaucon's work preceded by nearly two decades the opening of the first public art museum , the Capitoline Museum in Rome , by Pope Clement XII in 1737. So the 'Cabinets of the Curious' became a prime source of material. Alexander Maffei, a 'Gentleman to the Pope' undoubtedly provided drawings of sculpture in the Vatican collection which was not made public until 1767 with the foundation of the Profane Museum.
Particular mention is made of a Mr. Foucault, who 'hath made himself one of the finest cabinets in (France), perhaps in Europe,' who conributed 120 pieces to be copied. Dozens of other contributors are mentioned including other scholars and antiquarians who lent Montfaucon manuscripts of earlier authors' works, like thoses of Boissard and  the architect Serlio.